The Long Year

The Long Year
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A 2020 Reader
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Thomas J. Sugrue
Public Books Series
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In The Long Year, some of the world’s most incisive thinkers excavate 2020’s buried crises, revealing how they must be confronted in order to achieve a more equal future.

Some years—1789, 1929, 1989—change the world suddenly. Or do they? In 2020, a pandemic converged with an economic collapse, inequalities exploded, and institutions weakened. Yet these crises sprang not from new risks but from known dangers. The world—like many patients—met 2020 with a host of preexisting conditions, which together tilted the odds toward disaster. Perhaps 2020 wasn’t the year the world changed; perhaps it was simply the moment the world finally understood its deadly diagnosis.

In The Long Year, some of the world’s most incisive thinkers excavate 2020’s buried crises, revealing how they must be confronted in order to achieve a more equal future. Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor calls for the defunding of police and the refunding of communities; Keisha Blain demonstrates why the battle against racism must be global; and Adam Tooze reveals that COVID-19 hit hardest where inequality was already greatest and welfare states weakest. Yarimar Bonilla, Xiaowei Wang, Simon Balto, Marcia Chatelain, Gautam Bhan, Ananya Roy, and others offer insights from the factory farms of China to the elite resorts of France, the meatpacking plants of the Midwest to the overcrowded hospitals of India.

The definitive guide to these ongoing catastrophes, The Long Year shows that only by exposing the roots and ramifications of 2020 can another such breakdown be prevented. It is made possible through institutional partnerships with Public Books and the Social Science Research Council.

Acknowledgments, by Caitlin Zaloom
Introduction: Preexisting Conditions, by Thomas J. Sugrue
Part I: Diagnosing the Crises
Pandemics as History, by Andy Horowitz
It’s the Geography, Stupid! Planetary Urbanization Revealed, by Éric Charmes and Max Rousseau
Global Inequality and the Corona Shock, by Adam Tooze
The Job of Critical Thinking Now, by Joan Wallach Scott
Part II: Essential Work
“The Supply Chain Must Continue”, by Andrew Lakoff
The Enduring Disposability of Latinx Workers, by Natalia Molina
Fast Food, Precarious Workers, by Marcia Chatelain
Mothers, Mental Health, and the Pandemic, by Michelle Cera
Working in China in the COVID-19 Era, by Gilles Guiheux, Renyou Hou, Manon Laurent, Jun Li, Anne-Valérie Ruinet, and Ye Guo
India in COVID-19: A Tragedy Foretold, by Marine Al Dahdah, Mathieu Ferry, Isabelle Guérin, and Govindan Venkatasubramanian
Pandemic Security and Insecurity in the Gulf, by Neha Vora
Hidden Vulnerability and Inequality: The COVID-19 Pandemic in Singapore, by Sulfikar Amir
Addressing the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Gender Inequality and Gender-Based Violence in South Africa, by Sherihan Radi
Part III: Policing and Protest
Civil Rights International: The Fight Against Racism Has Always Been Global, by Keisha N. Blain
Rage and Uprising, by Mustafa Dikeç
Defund the Police and Refund the Communities, by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
Policing’s History Argues Against Reform, by Simon Balto
Can I Get a Witness?, by Jeffrey Aaron Snyder
As American as Child Separation, by Rachel Nolan
Protests Against Police Brutality Go Global, by David Schmidt
Part IV: Viral Biopolitics
To Heal the Body, Heal the Body Politic, by Julie Livingston
American Eldercide, by Margaret Morganroth Gullette
The World Is a Factory Farm, by Xiaowei Wang
Listen to the Birds, by Priscilla Wald
Risk for “Us” or for “Them”? The Comparative Politics of Diversity and Responses to AIDS and COVID-19, by Evan Lieberman
Think Like a Virus, by Warwick Anderson
Part V: Pandemic Lives
For the Love of Strangers, by Julia Foulkes
Where Is She?, by Soledad Álvarez Velasco
Grief Circling, by Sophie Lewis
In China, Pandemic Diaries Unite and Divide a Nation, by Guobin Yang
Part VI: Private Crises in Public Spaces
The Violence of Urban Vacancy, by Sophie Gonick
The Limits of Telecommuting, by Margaret O’Mara
A Quiet Disaster: Mexico City, Mexico, by Alfonso Fierro
Health Self-Defense in a São Paulo Favela, by Erick Corrêa
Emergency Urbanism, by Ananya Roy
A Crisis Too Big to Waste: What Comes After Private Housing Fails?, by Gianpaolo Baiocchi and H. Jacob Carlson
Part VII: The Failure of the State
COVID Blindness, by Quentin Ravelli
Five Lessons for Democracy from the COVID-19 Pandemic, by Jean-Paul Gagnon, Rikki J. Dean, Afsoun Afsahi, Emily Beausoleil, and Selen A. Ercan
Can Democracies Handle Systemic Risks?, by Miguel Centeno
The Vulnerable Foundations of India’s Urbanism, by Gautam Bhan
Pandemics in the Post-Grid Imaginary, by Joanne Randa Nucho
Pandemic Déjà Vu, by Yarimar Bonilla
COVID-19 in a Border Nation, by Jacob A. C. Remes
Part VIII: Alternative Futures
Are We in Denial About Denial?, by Rodrigo Nunes
Can the Crowd Speak?, by Warren Breckman
The Pandemic’s Brief Disaster Utopia, by Daniel F. Lorenz and Cordula Dittmer
Building a Society the Values Care, by Kathryn Cai
Rebuilding Solidarity in a Broken World, by Eric Klinenberg
Part IX: Further Reading
Pandemic Syllabus, by David S. Barnes, Merlin Chowkwanyun, and Kavita Sivaramakrishnan
List of Contributors
Source Credits

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